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BPI works out how to put PG stickers on downloads

Brings digital music back into the '80s

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The BPI has invoked the spirit of Tipper Gore in its effort to warn parents and kids when downloads might be offensive to young ears and eyes.

The BPI said its Parental Advisory Scheme "will stipulate that UK digital music retailers and streaming services should clearly display the internationally recognised Parental Advisory logo or the word 'EXPLICIT' alongside any music or video files flagged as containing explicit content."

Geoff Taylor, BPI chief executive, said, "We are updating our Parental Advisory Scheme for the digital age to ensure that explicit songs and videos are clearly labelled, giving parents the ability to identify material that may not be appropriate for their children."

Which of course, just shows how up to speed the industry is on digital issues; the industry has been slapping Parental Guidance stickers on vinyl and CDs since the mid-'90s in the UK.

But the fetish for slapping the sticker on anything remotely naughty began in the states in the mid-80s, when Tipper Gore and the Parental Music Resource Centre realised what some of those rappers and heavey metallers were actually going on about.

Inevitably the label became a badge of honour for many artists, particularly in hip-hop, rather as an ASBO might fulfill the same purpose for a small selection of their listeners.

Now the BPI can ensure that the same cheap marketing the likes of Ice-T employed in the physical world can be exploited in the online world.

After all, buying stuff legally rather than hitting the torrents has got to be worth it if it's guaranteed to piss off your parents. ®

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